- Created on 04 November 2013
I've read three dating advice books in my entire life:
He's Just Not That Into You -- which after I read it, made me think no guy I dated was actually, 100 percent, into me.
Why Men Love Bitches -- which also, made me feel as though any guy I dated after was not really into me.
And, Patti Stanger's book, which the only advice I actually remember from it had to do with her saying that guys don't want to date girls who air their relationship stories out to the world. So, as a dating blogger and author of the e-Book, All My Friends Are Engaged, it looks like I'm doomed. Thanks, Patti.
So, do me a favor. Will you? Take your stack of worn-out, tear-stained, dating advice books and throw them out. Toss them in the recycling bin, use them as coasters on your living room table, glue them on top of each other and make them into a sturdy step stool. Just don't read them anymore, okay?
All they'll do is twist your thoughts, your judgments and your actions around like a tangled computer chord, leaving you acting like some kind of robotic monster who says and does things completely out of character.
Remember, only, these tips:
1. If you want to meet new people (potential dates) you need to actually try. Stop letting your couch cushions and your Netflix account and your Saturday girl's nights (where you ONLY dance and talk to each other) keep on inhibiting you from meeting people. Go to a meet-up event. Start shaking hands with strangers. Set up an online account on a website you're open to giving a try. Just start by stopping to look down at your phone all the time while you're out in public and say hello more.
2. If it's not passionate, I-can't-stop-thinking-about-you kind of love, what's the point? Too many things in life are just mundane and blasé, love shouldn't be. The person who latches onto your heart should make you feel extraordinary. There's absolutely no point in settling down just to settle.
3. Write down a list of things you love in this world and a list of things that bother you. Start to understand who you are a bit more and then, after it's spelled out on paper, begin to love yourself in such an unconditional way. Own up to the quirks and habits and hobbies that make you, you. That way, when someone enters your life, you'll be able to dazzle them with confidence.
4. Find an example. Your parents. Friends of yours. The 96-year-old couple in matching burgundy sweaters splitting French toast at the diner across the street, looking at each other like they just met for the first time. Find comfort in knowing that that crazy little thing called love does, in fact, exist.
5. If it doesn't feel right, it's not. Don't ignore the red flags that wave frantically at you, like a teenager trying to catch the attention of a member of One Direction, on dates 1-3.
6. Never say you're too busy for love. Because you're not. It's an excuse. It's one of those things we tell ourselves because we desperately want to believe it. If you want something bad enough, you'll somehow find the time to do it, to have it, to hold onto it.
7. Treat love like you do books. When it gets boring, or too complicated, put it down. Skip to the end.
8. If by date #4, you're questioning your interest in a person, call it quits. Don't waste time letting something drag on that's not meant to be -- likewise, don't force something that's not meant to be.
9. Don't hold back. Talk about whatever you want. Order your favorite dish of chicken parm and eat it on a first date. If you put on a costume and adopt someone else's personality, you're just delaying the inevitable: the person getting to know the real you. If you're not sure who the real you is, that's okay, please refer back to #3.
10. Do only what feels right. If you want to text the person after the date to say thank you for the nice night out, or after the third date give them a smooch goodbye, do it. The worst part of doing a case study on shredded love is having your memories corrupted by all the things you wish you did.
- Created on 04 November 2013
Jackson Black (pictured left) of Craigsville, Va., is coming under fire for dressing as a Klansman for Halloween, and apparently, the costume is a family tradition, according to WHSV.
"My brother ha[d] [worn the costume] when he was in kindergarten and when he was 13," Mother Jessica Black (pictured right) said, so when 7-year-old Jackson wanted to wear the garments for trick-o-treating, Black agreed to make him the costume.
According to Jackson, he wanted to dress as a Klan member "['cause] it was cool." He claims he saw the outfit in the "Fried Green Tomatoes" movie.
Still, his mom reportedly warned him about the potential backlash.
"I did tell him that if you do it, you know there's going to be people talking about you. There's going to be people saying bad things about you when you do wear it," Black added.
Understandably, neighbors who saw the costume were appalled. "I just think it's really sad that a kid is being taught that, that young, because they don't know any better. You don't hear that much about it," said Wendi Sprouse.
Not only does wearing the costume run in the family, Ms. Black also supports the Klan's pro-Aryan stance. She further defended it by noting the group's charity.
"It's supposed to be White with White. Black with Black. Man with woman and all of that. That's what the KKK stands for. The KKK every year raises money to donate to the St. Jude's," she said.
And when asked if he would still wear the costume knowing that it offends some people, Jackson simply replied with "Yes."
- Created on 01 November 2013
This Oct. 29, 2013 photo released by NBC shows actress Kerry Washington, right, with cast member Taran Killam during a promotional shoot for "Saturday Night Live," in New York. Washington will host the late night comedy sketch series on Nov. 2. (AP Photo / NBC, Dana Edelson)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Kerry Washington's turn as host of "Saturday Night Live" this week gives that television institution something it hasn't seen much lately: a black woman onstage trying to make people laugh.
The show's diversity has become an issue, pushed to the forefront by comments from the two black male cast members.
No black women are among the 16 repertory or featured players currently on the show. While Eddie Murphy, Garrett Morris, Chris Rock, Tim Meadows, Tracy Morgan and current cast members Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah have been major "SNL" players, the 137 people who have been cast members since the show started on NBC in 1975 include four black women.
The most recent, and most prominent, was biracial Maya Rudolph, who left in 2007.
Founding producer Lorne Michaels, who is still the show's top executive and generally keeps the casting process mysterious, said he's well aware of the issue and is on the lookout for black women as potential cast members.
"It's not like it's not a priority for us," he said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday night. "It will happen. I'm sure it will happen."
Pharoah told the website The Grio recently that he hoped the show would have a black woman in its cast, and he had a suggestion: Darmirra Brunson.
"Why do I think she should be on the show?" he said. "Because she's black, first of all, and she's really talented. She's amazing. She needs to be on 'SNL.'"
It's not clear whether she was ever considered, although it's currently a moot point. Brunson is a cast member on Tyler Perry's show, "Love Thy Neighbor," on Oprah Winfrey's OWN network.
Thompson, who Michaels said is as good as anyone who's been on the show, blamed a lack of quality black comediennes. "It's just a tough part of the business, like in auditions," he told TV Guide. "They never find ones that are ready."
That didn't go over well in the comedy community, with several people coming forth with suggestions for Thompson. "It was kind of an unfortunate, unthinking thing to say," said Miriam Petty, a Northwestern University communications professor and expert on black popular culture.
Sketch comedy troupes like Second City, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and the Groundlings are fertile ground for future cast members. Current players pass along recommendations, like when Tina Fey touted Amy Poehler. There are often specific needs: "SNL" was particularly seeking men this year because Jason Sudeikis, Fred Armisen and Bill Hader left the show, and Seth Meyers is soon to graduate to his own weeknight show.
Michaels said "SNL" is particularly interested in sketch comedy experience, a different skill than stand-up. He also wants to make sure that a new cast member has some seasoning and won't be overwhelmed by the pace and attention.
"You don't do anyone a favor if they're not ready," he said.
Two of the black women who were on the show - Danitra Vance and Yvonne Hudson - lasted only one season each during the 1980s, although Michaels said that wasn't necessarily an indication they weren't ready. The third black woman cast member, Ellen Cleghorne, was on from 1991 to 1995.
There has often been criticism through the years that late-night comedy in general is a boy's club, particularly a white boy's club (There aren't any Asians or Hispanics on the show either, male or female, though cast member Nasim Pedrad is Iranian-American).
Petty said she didn't think there was a conscious effort to be exclusionary on "Saturday Night Live." "But when most of the people in the boardroom (making casting decisions) are white men, that's going to happen," she said.
The show still is an important part of the culture, and misses something when there's a lack of diversity, she said. She cited political humor as something that would benefit from different perspectives.
Discussing the issue on Roland Martin's radio show recently, comic Kym Whitley wryly noted, "They do have sisters on there - they're just brothers playing sisters."
Not anymore. Both Thompson and Pharoah are balking now at performing in drag. They won't put on wigs, makeup or dresses to portray Oprah Winfrey or Whoopi Goldberg, for example.
Performing in drag has been a contentious issue among black comics, even as people like Perry and Flip Wilson portrayed signature female characters. Having men portray women frequently turns them into cartoonish or stereotypical characters, said Darnell Hunt, a sociology professor and director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA.
"You are almost locked into certain types of portrayals of black women, if you have them at all," Hunt said.
- Created on 31 October 2013
Keshia Thomas (pictured below center), a Black woman who protected a White man at a Ku Klux Klan rally back in 1996, recently recalled her act, according to BBC News.
"I knew what it was like to be hurt," Thomas said. "The many times that, that happened, I wish someone would have stood up for me."
Thomas was 18 years old, when Klansmen decided to hold a rally in Ann Arbor, Mich., her hometown. Known for being a heavily liberal and multiracial area, hundreds of residents gathered in a show of force against the group.
Though officers protected the White supremacists with riot gear and protesters were held behind a fence, the rally soon turned hostile. A woman holding a megaphone reportedly noticed a White man among them wearing a confederate T-shirt. She reportedly notified protesters who then proceeded to chase him from the crowd.
Though it's not known if the man was a Klan member, protesters allegedly yelled, "Kill the Nazi," before knocking him down. They reportedly began attacking him with wooden sticks from their signs.
For Thomas, the situation had clearly gotten out of hand.
"When people are in a crowd, they are more likely to do things they would never do as an individual. Someone had to step out of the pack and say, 'This isn't right.'" she said.
Consequently, Thomas threw herself over the man, protecting him from further harm.
Then-student photographer Mark Brunner, who witnessed Thomas' actions, was amazed.
"She put herself at physical risk to protect someone who, in my opinion, would not have done the same for her," he said. "Who does that in this world?"
According to Thomas, "Violence is violence — nobody deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea." Now in her 30s, Thomas has never heard from the man, but she did have an encounter with someone close to him: Months after the gesture, a man reportedly approached her in a coffee shop and thanked her. When she asked why, he said, "That was my dad."
Knowing the man had a son put things in even greater perspective for Thomas. "For the most part, people who hurt...they come from hurt. It is a cycle. Let's say they had killed him or hurt him really bad. How does the son feel? Does he carry on the violence?"
Now living in Texas, Thomas says she is looking toward the future and not her past.
"I don't want to think that this is the best I could ever be. In life you are always striving to do better." she said. "The biggest thing you can do is just be kind to another human being. It can come down to eye contact or a smile. It doesn't have to be a huge monumental act."